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The Hawks swoop in at Safa House following claims of malfeasance and corruption 

The Hawks swoop in at Safa House following claims of malfeasance and corruption 
The South African Football Association, which is headquartered in Nasrec, Johannesburg, is at the centre of claims of malfeasance and corruption. (Photo: Gallo Images)

The allegations of boardroom rot at the South African Football Association are continuing to dull the shine of the true stars (the players).

The South African Football Association (Safa) is once again in the limelight, after the Hawks – the South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – initiated a search and seizure operation at Safa’s headquarters in Nasrec.

The operation occurred on Friday, 8 March, with the Hawks pinpointing Safa president Danny Jordaan as the main suspect in alleged acts of malfeasance at the organisation.

“The warrants were prompted by allegations of fraud and theft amounting to R1.3-million,” the Hawks said.

“The allegations are that between 2014 and 2018, the president of Safa used the organisation’s resources for his personal gain. Including hiring a private security company for his personal protection [and] a public relations company without authorisation from the Safa board,” the Hawks said.

A laptop, external hard drives, a USB and documents were seized during the operation at Safa House. It is not the first time that the association has been flagged for financial maladministration

Safa dismissed the allegations, calling the operation “unfortunate and a shame to our law enforcement agencies”.

“We want to set it out from the onset that we believe the search was unlawful, malicious and not conducted in terms of the directives of a warrant given to us,” Safa said.

“We were not furnished with all the documents prescribed by law. The documents that were furnished by the Hawks during the shameful raid were incomplete and unlawful. We contend that it was done deliberately and intentionally in order to action this malicious action,” it said.

“As a result of this, we have instructed our attorneys to bring an urgent application to review and set aside this search and seizure. We have further instructed our attorneys to bring a formal complaint to the oversight arbitrator of the Hawks regarding the action of all involved members.

“We believe, unfortunately, that these members of the police have been compromised and are being used in the callous abuse of state resources. Let us reiterate, there is no money missing from Safa.”

Fire extinguisher 

This is just the latest fire that Safa has had to put out, just three months into 2024. A week ago, the association moved to extinguish widespread reports that its latest CEO Lydia Monyepao is considering quitting the post, less than a year after being appointed over alleged clashes with Jordaan.

“Ms Monyepao and Dr Danny Jordaan dismiss claims that she wants to quit and has been bullied by the Safa president. They have dismissed the claim as malicious gossip with the contempt it deserves,” Safa said.

In the same statement, the chief executive said she had a normal working relationship with Jordaan. “The president and I have a healthy working relationship.”

Should Monyepao indeed depart Safa House, the former Banyana Banyana player would become the fourth CEO to vacate the seat since Dennis Mumble left the association in 2018, after having been at Safa House since 2013, the year that Jordaan became Safa president.

After Mumble came Russell Paul and Gay Mokeona, who were both appointed in an acting capacity. Tebogo Motlanthe became the acting CEO in 2020 and was then formally appointed as Safa’s permanent chief executive in January 2021, on a five-year contract. He departed in May 2023, with Monyepao taking over.

Dulling the shine of the stars

Despite the upward trajectory of Banyana Banyana in recent years, as well as Bafana Bafana’s newfound success, Safa simply cannot shake off allegations of maladministration at the organisation.

The allegations have long beleaguered the organisation and have led to some sections of the South African football community accusing the custodian of the country’s football for Bafana Bafana’s regression over the last couple of decades.

Even after South Africa’s senior men’s side grinded its way to its first Africa Cup of Nations medal in 24 years, the allegations of boardroom rot at Safa’s headquarters in Nasrec persist.

Banyana won their maiden Women’s Afcon title in 2022. Then they followed it with a historic foray into knockout stages of the 2023 World Cup, becoming the first senior South African team to reach that phase of a World Cup. Now they are on the brink of qualifying for this year’s Olympics in France. 

Regardless of these recent achievements on the pitch, it is the suits at Safa that continue to dominate the headlines. For the wrong reasons at that. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    Danny Jordaan a suspect? Say it isn’t so.

  • Kevin Clark says:

    Danny Jordaan should have been gone the day after the 2010 event ended.
    It has been nothing but a pathetic display of soccer admin incompetence.
    Compare our SA PSL to the UK Premier League !

  • Alley Cat says:

    Despite all the skulduggery, our teams have done well as you point out. Imagine what they could have achieved if they had better facilities and support?

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